The Korea Herald


Samsung taps new smartphone biz head, seeks stability

Tech giant retains 3 CEOs, taps younger chief to lead smartphone innovations

By Song Su-hyun

Published : Jan. 20, 2020 - 11:36

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Roh Tae-moon (Samsung Electronics) Roh Tae-moon (Samsung Electronics)

Samsung Electronics on Monday decided to retain its current chief executive officers for stability, while creating a new leadership position for the smartphone business to be held by a relatively young executive in his 50s.

As part of its 2020 personnel reshuffle and organizational restructuring, Samsung announced appointments of four new presidents and adjustments in the positions of five current leaders.

The announcement comes about a month and a half later than usual due to the lingering legal risks of Samsung’s de facto leader, Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong.

As widely expected, the three incumbent CEOs of Samsung’s business divisions -- Kim Ki-nam of device solutions, Koh Dong-jin of IT & mobile communications and Kim Hyun-suk of consumer electronics -- will remain in office for their third year.

“The three CEOs are expected to create synergy among the three divisions and discover new business opportunities in pursuit of the company’s overall growth,” the company said in a statement.

In a change, the firm decided to highlight the IT & mobile division’s smartphone sector by appointing Roh Tae-moon as chief. CEO Koh, meanwhile, will focus on broader issues and spearhead the overall smartphone and telecommunications equipment business activities.

Roh, 51, currently president of mobile hardware research and development, was recognized for his technological leadership in advancing the development of the Samsung Galaxy smartphone series, which has raised the Korean tech giant’s global competitiveness, according to Samsung.

Samsung also announced the promotion of four executives to the rank of president.

Jeon Kyung-hoon, Hwang Seong-woo (Samsung Electronics) Jeon Kyung-hoon, Hwang Seong-woo (Samsung Electronics)

The promotions are: Jeon Kyung-hoon, executive vice president of the network business unit; Hwang Seong-woo, executive vice president of the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology; Choi Yoon-ho, from executive vice president of the business support task force to president of corporate management; and Park Hark-kyu, from executive vice president of business operations at Samsung SDS to president of corporate management for device solutions at Samsung Electronics.

Choi Yoon-ho, Park Hark-kyu (Samsung Electronics) Choi Yoon-ho, Park Hark-kyu (Samsung Electronics)

The company has adjusted the responsibilities of current leaders, too.

Device Solutions CEO and Vice Chairman Kim Ki-nam will no longer co-head SAIT. CEO Kim Hyun-suk will not co-head the consumer electronics business unit, but will retain his positions as division head and Samsung research head.

Rhee In-yong, adviser to the corporate outreach unit and former president of communication, has now been appointed president of corporate relations.

Rhee will play a key role in smoothing communications between Samsung and outside organizations.

The CEOs of Samsung affiliates Samsung Display, Samsung SDI and Samsung SDS will also remain in office for another year.

Kyung Kye-hyun, executive vice president at Samsung Electronics for digital solutions memory business, has been nominated Samsung Electro-Mechanics CEO.

By Song Su-hyun (